Back in 2003, Thailand saw an opportunity, and decided to take it. The country already had an established plastics industry, plus cheap and abundant sources of feedstock from its agricultural industry, and it decided to take a gamble on bioplastics. Today, Thailand is on the fast track to become the bioplastics hub of the ASEAN region - within another three years, if it's up to Science and Technology Minister Worawat Uea-apinyakul. How did they do it?
A feasibility study conducted by the Thai government in 2004 showed that Thailand boasted a number of important advantages, including existing capabilities and infrastructure. Thailand had, and has the region's largest plastics processing industry and can therefore take advantage of a wide availability of knowledge and experience in the industry. It was therefore decided to go ahead with the development of a bioplastics industry. In 2006, the government commissioned the Thai National Innovation Agency to draft a roadmap for the development of the Thai bioplastics industry. This roadmap was officially approved by a Cabinet resolution in 2008.